A 1,8 hectares plot of land, in a tiny village at the most western side of the island Saaremaa. You have to drive on a km of gravel road to reach this habitation in the forest. The silence is ever-present, as are the whispers of the diverse array of old trees. At the entrance, there is a massive oak that welcomes it's visitors with wide open branches. Thumbling stonewalls surround the open piece of wild meadow on the land with on it's edge an old wooden shed. It's this piece of open landscape that is at the heart of our homestead, and transforming into different ecological habitats and livingarea's.
Mittleider garden combined
The garden is Laura's domain. She dreams of producing most of the food our household will consume throughout the year. The garden consists out of 13 beds of 9 meters long and are developed along the thought of the Mittleider gardening system. The edges of the garden will be full of flowers, and perennial fruitbushes. In the chickencoop we planted different fruittrees with fruit that ripes throughout the seasons. In the future we hope to work on a swimming pond that also serves as an additional wildlife habitat and adds flow and beauty to the landscape.
We have both traveled abroad and helped out on farms and homesteads. In these experiences we learned to make our hands dirty an get involved with building and gardening. The building projects we're doing on our land keep in honor old and new building techniques and skills. Laura is especially fascinated by mud and earthen plaster and it's many applications. Jonas has more patience for the nitty gritty details of working with wood. The buildings are made using mostly local materials like wood, reed and earth. .
Building a passive solar cabin
Our dream of living in a hand-build cabin in the woods is turning into a reality; It took more then a year of dedicated working on this building , from felling trees and debarking them, to plastering the reedbale walls. The interior is adapted and fine-tuned to our needs. Here we will spend a lot of time in winter, resting and creating new artworks and wooden jewelry, close to the masonry stove.
The format and form of the building is in such a way it makes the most use of the sun energy available, to help heat the space. The windows are south-facing and the reedbale walls with earth help absorb and regulate the temperature and humidity inside.
The Forest cabin airbnb
In this cosy small cabin we stayed the first 2 years since the start of the project. It's a tiny summerhouse build with logs. The first thing we did was trying to make it habitable by insulating it a bit and finishing the walls with plaster. It has served us well, but this spring we're doing some more renovations and make it more functional and pretty with a new roof and windows, and a handcrafted outside kitchen. After that we hope to rent it out to visitors on the island, looking for a silent retreat in the whispering forest. The shower space for guests will be designed.inside a greenhouse., and hopefully we can provide a little sauna as wel one day.
Animals enliven and enrich the lanscape. Chickens from a local Livonian breed have already found a home in our garden, and have their own mudhouse. Recently a cat is introduced for helping to keep the mice population in check. Over time we hope to add rabbits for meat and goats for milkproduction. The skills of butchering and cheese making we're aiming to develop some day in the near future.